It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of an incredible man, a wonderful Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Brother. George Joseph Gerald Gies passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 with his loving wife by his side, Deborah Gies (Cub).
Things we see and say that stay
The hardest part is getting over the visuals of you drifting a little further away from me daily. And looking into your eyes as they wanted to say so much, as pieces of you disappeared daily. I know your beautiful smiling face. I know that face that lights up whenever I’m in your presence. I still knew that face that could no longer speak, but you spoke with your eyes. You know I always knew what you meant, even if you couldn’t articulate it properly to me. I read your pain, I read your sadness, your fear, and your undying love for me remained always in your eyes. When your voice left us, I asked a million questions that you could still nod yes or no to. Until the day you died, when you couldn’t even do that anymore.
You couldn’t speak the last week you were here. I still scream and cry when I think about every little part of you God took away from me, a little each day. At first you could no longer walk, the very next day, you could no longer speak. But then I remembered our little hand signal we made up for each other. I still can’t remember how it came to be, but I think it was me who once said – as a joke- that in case something ever happened to you or I and we couldn’t talk, we had our own secret hand signal for ‘I love you’. I pulled that old trick out of the bag and would make that signal to you and you did the same back to me. You see, after all, my silly little games did come in handy.
You ate your last meal six days before you died, the day you came home from your last hospital stint, six days before you would die at home in our bed. I know I got lucky one morning after and fed you oatmeal. There was no more after that. I fed you your juice, water, gingerale in short sips, til another day passed and I’d cut the straws to help you sip the liquid your constantly dry mouth yearned for. The next day you blew bubbles in the glass, no longer having the strength to suck up through the straw. But I was well-armed with ideas. The next day I fed you water by teaspoon, like a battered little bird, mama bird did her best to get liquids into you. The next day I was resolved to dipping the sponge sticks in water to get some liquid into you. Eventually, you couldn’t suck on that anymore either. I kept putting Vaseline on your parched lips, intermittent between my kisses. I lost count on how many times a day and night I told you, “I love you Puppy”. I never felt it was enough. I never wanted you to forget. Kind of like one night only two weeks before when we could still converse and even make the odd joke. You stirred in your sleep that night and woke over a dozen times calling me, “Cub, Cub.” I snapped my head up in fear and asked, what’s the matter honey, and you’d reply the same thing each time I asked.
“I love you Cub.” Maybe it was two dozen times, I didn’t think then to count, but I’ll always remember that night you felt compelled to tell me you loved me, many times over, as though urgent that I know. But I know. And I knew. I always knew because you never ever let one day pass without kissing me, hugging, and telling me how much you loved me. In my worst and ugliest moments, you had the face to still call me your ‘beauty queen’. I was the luckiest girl in the whole world to be so loved by one man. And now I’m only the loneliest girl in the world.
I held your hand in your hour of passing. I shared your pillow and wrapped my arm around you and kissed your ashened, boney face – the face that was once full chipmunk cheeked with an always rosey complexion that had become a mere little boy face. You struggled to breathe as the fluid was drowning your lungs. I knew God was taking you away that morning. I never left your side. The gurgling brook within you stopped, I felt your heart flutter for an instant and your throat appeared as though there was a golf ball in it. And you went silent. Only then did I give you permission to leave. I jumped off the bed and opened the window wide and set your soul free to be taken by the angels. And that was the last moment of US.
There are no other words to describe the boulder that resides in my chest now. The boulder that is crushing my heart and making it difficult to breathe so many times a day – and night. Is it any wonder I don’t eat? Who can eat when they’re perpetually full – full of heartache, crushing pain filling me up where the digestion system usually alerts to feeding time. I’m blocked in head and heart. And the pain is unrelenting.
I’m so far from acceptance as I still talk to you and hug your pillow anytime I walk into our bedroom. The loss of you will never be filled by anything or anyone else. I love you too much, as I know you loved me. You know I always worried about you, and that doesn’t stop. Or, it won’t stop until I receive a sign or visit from you, so that you can let me know you’re all better and in your new life, and perhaps you could leave little signs that you are around and you will watch over me. Just maybe then I can stop playing those movie reels of your sufferance over and over in my mind if you come back and let me know you are in peace. Maybe then my own hell will begin to ease, and with patient baby steps, I may finally reach that bridge to acceptance that you are really gone.
I love you to the moon my Puppy.
Your forever Cub. 💕